I took The Kid to Elitches this weekend. By all accounts, it was a fabulous time. I even got that little guy to ride the Twister. He was scared to death on the big hill that starts the roller coaster, and I honestly thought that I was the worst mother in the entire universe for talking him into riding it. But then the speed picked up, and we were up and over and around and through and The Kid was squeeling with delight. Phew.
In all we had a fabulous time and all of the troubles of the week were thoroughly girated out of my body. The Kid had fun too. He and I even had the most reasonable talk about the latest bad news from the school over $7 french fries and a soda at the park, and I told him about what to expect next week. We even talked a bit about how all this anger is hard on his cousins and his friends. It was heartbreaking, but it was also a heart-to-heart, which is invaluable.
Sometimes I forget how serious all of this is. The school and IEP violations they've committed have been perfect opportunities for my attentions and focus and anger to be directed at a source firmly outside of my own home. The bottom line however is that The Kid has a very serious, diagnosable mental illness and we're going to be on this bumpy ride for a long, long time. No scapegoat will get us out of that. Amusements are good for affirmation, however, and weekends are priceless for our sanity.
I'm happy to say that The Kid's personality is back. He is still doing that scary stretching thing and I will be calling his doctor tomorrow with those concerns. She swears they aren't tardive diskenesia, a disorder caused by psychiatric medications (she says the movements are not the same), but I'm scared shitless nonetheless.
The Kid has been suspended from his school, and so is heading back to my mom's house for the next three days. I don't even completely understand what happened at the school that caused the suspension, but I believe that it was: a) serious, and b) what they probably should have done instead of giving us that ultimatum of SIED program vs. no school, so at least they are kind of following the rules so far. This also means that this suspension will end on Thursday and he will start a new school that day. I've chosen a school, and all seems to be adequately promising. In all honesty, however, I'm too wary to be optimistic any more. I just hope the new school knows more about how to work with kids like The Kid. And I hope they are willing to try and learn new things if they don't.
I still don't know if they suspended him correctly or if they've broken other areas of disability law. Last week they tallied about 2 IEP/ADA/IDEA violations, so suspending him pretty much got them off of the hook next week, meaning, if he's not at school, they can't break the law anymore. Plus, The Kid won't be there anymore, so their lives are all going to go back to their perfectly normal and insidiously boring ways, which I understand they prefer. Who wouldn't?
We had our meeting last Tuesday and it was grueling to say the least. I stayed calm and stood my ground. The fangs only ever came out while my mouth was firmly closed, so I did no harm by losing my temper or presenting myself as the angry mama bear which can so terribly cloud discussions like that. I got the school to agree to strike entirely the IEP addendum which they illegally wrote. The Kid's annual review of his IEP was up on 10/3, so I obviously granted them an extension and they will have to write an official IEP. Whatever, I'm sure they'll do a bang up job of it. The beauty here is that I will have it written into their IEP that it must be re-written by the new school 30 days after he enters the new school, so all will change fairly quickly. Now, in preparing the new IEP, they obtained test data without my consent, so they're in trouble again, but it's really not my concern anymore. I've been assured by my advocate and by district personnel that the school is being investigated and will be somehow made to deal with their lack of training in these issues.
I really don't care anymore. Because there's a much bigger picture here: My BOY! He's sick! He needs care and time and understanding and most of all help. And that school was not helping, nor would they have helped at this time, even if they filled out every form pertaining to his disability at the right time. They can't do it. I sure hope the new school can.